Peluso's Pair Lifts Rivermen to Fifth Straight Win
Opponent: @Charlotte Checkers
Date: March 20, 2012 6:00 p.m.
Score(Home/Away): 2-5 W
Behind two goals from Anthony Peluso and another strong outing from Jake Allen in net, the Peoria Rivermen defeated the Charlotte Checkers 5-2 on Tuesday night at Time Warner Cable Arena. The win improved their streak to five games – their longest such streak of the season.
Allen won his fourth consecutive game and his 11th of the season. With 42 saves in the game he has now stopped 151 of the last 155 shots that he has faced (0.974%). He was faced 21 shots in the first period alone and did not allow a goal after the opening frame.
With a record of 36-26-2-1, and 75 points, the Rivermen are tied with the Chicago Wolves for first place in the Midwest Division.
Peluso scored his third goal of the year at 2:32 of the first period to give the Rivermen a 1-0 lead. Brett Ponich earned his fourth assists of the season by lifting a pass to Peluso in front of the net. He turned and dragged the puck around Justin Peters to give Peoria the early advantage.
The Checkers tied the affair with Zac Dalpe’s 16th goal of the season at 10:15. Then on Charlotte’s first power play, Zack Boychuk redirected a Bobby Sanguinetti shot into the top of the net just 3:40 later to give the Checkers a 2-1 lead.
The Rivemen were able to tie the contest just 50 seconds into the second period. Patrick O’Sullivan roofed the puck over Peters to score his 14h goal of the year. Adam Cracknell, who assisted on the goal, extended his point streak to six games.
At 10:15, the Rivermen reclaimed the lead for good. Peluso’s second came off a feed from Anthony Nigro from behind the Checkers’ goal. It was the second two-goal game in Peluso’s AHL career and first since Dec. 17, 2010 in Grand Rapids.
Cracknell was lost for the game with 7:57 remaining in the second period after he was given a major penalty and a game misconduct for elbowing. Shorthanded for nearly the remainder of the period, the Rivermen escaped to the intermission with a 3-2 lead.
Jonathan Cheechoo scored his 20th goal of the season to give the Rivermen a 4-2 lead with 6:01 remaining in regulation. Cheechoo ripped a one-timer from the slot past the blocker of Peters after a perfect setup from Phil McRae.
Nigro scored an empty-net goal with no time left to finish off the game.
The Checkers outshot the Rivermen 44-25. Charlotte went 1-for-5 with the man advantage while the Rivermen were held scoreless on five power-play chances.
The Rivermen and Checkers will rematch on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The game can be heard on CD Country 107.9 FM in Peoria or online through www.rivermen.net.